Bowel Cancer

Bowel cancer is the most common internal cancer in Australia

  • Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer
  • Early detection can reduce the mortality rates from 95% to almost 0%
  • About 1 in 18 Australians will get bowel cancer in their lifetime
  • Risk increases with age
  • Family history of bowel cancer or polyps is important in assessing your risk of developing this disease and your need for colonoscopy
  • Almost all bowel cancers start as a “polyp” in the bowel and the progression typically takes from 5-10 years
  • Unfortunately polyps do not usually cause any symptoms
  • Polyps can easily be removed during colonoscopy considerably reducing the risk of bowel cancer.
  • Colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening.
  • The aim of a screening colonoscopy is to detect and remove pre-cancerous benign polyps. Screening should be done before any symptoms develop.
  • Colorectal cancer screening is important for everyone but it is particularly important if you have an increased risk because of a family history of bowel cancer, a past personal history of bowel cancer, or ulcerative colitis.